As reported in the CRA blog, the President has just let the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee expire, despite the valuable work it had been doing.
After two productive years in which they produced three important reports on various aspects of the federal IT R&D portfolio, the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) ceased to be on June 1st after the President's executive order establishing the most recent committee expired and the committee member's terms were not renewed. The committee had completed three reports requested by the Administration -- on IT in the health care sector, cyber security R&D, and the state of computational science -- and appeared ready to take what they had learned in that process and apply it to a review of the overall federal IT R&D portfolio when their charter lapsed. Despite prodding from a number of different sources, including questions at a recent hearing by House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) to the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Marburger, the President opted to allow the review to stop and the committee memberships to expire.Maybe he's mad because they didn't come out with a report attacking global warming predictions, stem cell research, or evolution? Or he thinks all computer scientists are Democrats?
This is very disappointing for the computing research community, which endured two years after President Bush was elected in which the statutorily-madated committee was chartered but was without members (the President didn't name the most recent PITAC members until May 28, 2003)...
As Congress continues to demonstrate its concern with the current state of computer science research in the U.S., the one advisory body most well-suited to the task of assessing that state shouldn't be allowed to lapse.